New Edmond Public Safety Center Prepares For Severe Weather, Earthquakes

Friday, March 7th 2014, 8:13 pm
By: News 9

More than 100 earthquakes have been reported in Oklahoma in just the past seven days. Most occurring just northeast of the metro.

For the new Edmond Public Safety Center, earthquake prevention couldn't come at a better time.

Construction has been ongoing for some time right in the heart of Edmond. The $27 million facility will serve primarily as the new police station, but it's being built to withstand much more than just officer activity.

"Anything could happen," Project Coordinator Randy Drew said.

The completion date is set for 2015.

"We're extremely, extremely pleased," Drew said.

Drew and the City of Edmond are laying the foundation for safety right now.

"Designed this facility for just very bad weather that could happen," Drew added.

Weather and earthquakes are just a few of the many possibilities the Edmond Public Safety Center won't just have to withstand, but function through.

10/5/2011 Related Story: Edmond Set To Vote On New Safety Center

"The building codes require a heightened level of attention," Structural Engineer Dr. Tom Bush said.

Dr. Bush and others had to reinforce not just the walls but everything else.

"Structure, electrical, plumbing... all of it," Dr. Bush added.

83,000 square feet relying on reinforced concrete walls, as well as what's called shear walls that are designed to withstand wind and earthquakes. One wall facing north and south, the other, east and west.

"There are walls turned in both directions, because we don't know which way wind or earthquake is going to come from," Dr. Bush said.

Even though Drew didn't think earthquakes would be a major part of the conversation, the safety center is ready.

"They don't allow the building to move sideways," Dr. Bush said.

So, emergency management can still manage through an emergency.

"We're real comfortable about the way F.S.B. designed it, and the way it's turned out," Drew said.

Drew also mentioned that when the building is opened there could be even a few empty offices, because the engineers designed the building to stand for 30 to 50 years.